How Drastic Is Gender Discrimination?


Catalina Contreras

Gender discrimination is a problem often seen, but not discussed.

Discrimination is a very debatable topic in the modern world.  Many people are discriminated against on the daily because of their gender, and sometimes we don’t even realize it.  

One of the places where discrimination exists is in the workplace.  In the short film, Purl, we see a perfect example of inequality in jobs, and how women are treated differently.  According to the article “Pixar’s New Short Film ‘Purl’ Takes On Toxic Masculinity In The Work Place”, the director of the short, Kristen Lester, explains how she wanted to tell her story of how she felt in the workplace, surrounded by the toxic “bro culture.” 

Lester mentions, “My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys.”  Lester, like many women, feels as if she cannot be herself because of the pressure put on her by the men in the office. 

In the world of professional sports, men have always been paid much more than women, even when the women have proven to be just as qualified, if not more, for equal pay. For example, the US women’s national soccer team has won four World Cups, while the men’s team has never won a World Cup. However, although the women have achieved more than the men, there is still a very large pay gap. 

In the article “Gender pay gap for US soccer players is ‘untenable position,’ top sports agent Casey Wasserman says,” Jesse Pound mentions that in 2019, the women’s team decided to sue the US Soccer Federation, saying that “if the men’s and women’s teams both played a similar 20-game schedule of non tournament ‘friendlies,’ the women would be paid just 38% of what the men would make.” For the same amount of work, professional women soccer players take home less than half of what the men do. This is a clear example of gender discrimination, as there is no valid reason for this noticable pay gap.

While discrimination against women is very common, it is important to note that discrimination against men exists, as well. Within the last few decades, the number of women attending colleges in the United States has been much higher than the number of men. In his article, “The Collegiate War Against Men,” Richard Vedder mentions that “for every five men, there are seven women.”

After looking into why this is the case, it was discovered that men feel as though they aren’t wanted in colleges as much as women are. For example, many schools attempt to increase the number of women entering the programs that are dominated by men, such as technology, engineering, and mathematics. To do this, according to Vedder, they “have created Women in Science scholarships, research grants, or the like to encourage more women.” While this might motivate women to enter STEM programs, men feel as though they are seen as inferior, and therefore not wanted. To make matters worse, schools don’t motivate men to enter the programs usually occupied by women, such as nursing. Because of this, women will not only continue to dominate their current fields, but also begin taking over the fields that men are known for commanding. 

Most of the discrimination against men occurs in the school environment.  Another example that proves that men are also discriminated against and affected by the stereotypes of the actual society is that men have to be strong and brave.  Because of that, they cannot do “women activities.” One example of this situation is in the article, “High school boy banned from officially competing with girl gymnasts — so he’s claiming gender discrimination.” The article basically talks about a guy who likes to participate in the gymnastics team and how his teacher said it’s only for women.  He is getting hit by gender discrimination at very young age.